Instead of doing a typical intro, I’ve made the executive decision to open up this downbeat with an intense slate of cool minivan videos, just to set the mood.
Have you had enough of the minivan videos? I could do this all day, but instead of that, let’s talk about the NBA equivalent of a cool minivan, which is the Jazz’s Georges Niang.
Coming off a hot 19-4-3 game in which he posted a +36 plus-minus in a blowout win, Georges Niang continues to prove that he’s an NBA rotational player. There was some doubt at several points along the way in his NBA career, but the Jazz have stayed patient with Niang through the ups and downs, and it’s paid off for them. He’s played some great minutes for the Jazz this season as a bench player, and started two games recently due to the Jazz dealing with the injury bug. The Minivan is having the best season of his five-year stint in the NBA, with career-highs in points per game, rebounds, assists, three-point shooting percentage and more. Quin Snyder has given him a little more room each passing season, and this year in particular Niang has made the most of it.
Games like last night show that Georges Niang can actually be the Jazz’s secret weapon. Yes, I know it was the Kings without some of their starters. But an NBA game is an NBA game, and George showing out in a big way was awesome to see.
Having a guy that can come in off the bench and shoot a high percentage from three is a great thing to have in today’s NBA. Niang’s shooting and high energy has been big for the Jazz this season, as he’s been knocking down threes like crazy and hitting that big ole dome of his after every one.
Georges Niang is shooting 47.8% from 3 in his last 37 games (over half the season) while being a neutral/arguably positive defender over that time— Miye Oni’s Burner (44-17) (@NBA_Jeremy1) April 29, 2021
This needs to be talked about more pic.twitter.com/Bp1nEeTWLh
Niang’s hot shooting lately is apparently due to his improved defense, according to Quin Snyder.
Quin Snyder on Georges Niang: "He's not playing defense cuz he's making shots; he's making shots cuz he's playing defense."— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) April 29, 2021
Among all of the things that George Niang has done well this year, improving on the defensive side of the court has probably been the most important. He’s improved his ability to stay in front of guys trying to take him off the dribble, as well as teams trying to target him on switches and screens. It’s awesome to see his defense improving, and his offense getting even better as a result.
Just two months ago Niang scored a career-high 21 points on perfect 7-7 shooting from three.
Anybody that can come into an NBA game off the bench and go 7-7 from three is a hooper. This game wasn’t really a fluke either. Niang has scored double-digits 15 other times this season, and is shooting 41% from deep. That’s some really solid stuff, especially for a guy that has had to earn every single minute he’s gotten on the NBA floor.
The only thing Niang really needs to work on his watching his step as he’s back-pedaling talking trash to the other team’s bench after a big shot.
It’s time that everyone start to recognize the weapon that George Niang really is, and the impact that he can have on any given night. Come playoff time, if he can keep up this defensive intensity, he’s going to come in and make some big plays for the Jazz, I can feel it. And when he does, it’s gonna be awesome.